Cuttings taken on 4-20-09

The mother plant should be healthy and growing vigorously. If you start with plants that have nutrient deficiencies you are stacking the deck against your clones. The branch/stem you choose to make a cutting will not be able to take up nutrients easily, so you want the mother plant to have all essential nutrients inside the plants cells, but none in excess.

When you take your cutting, you should leave a couple cm (1 cm = about 1/2 inch btw) of stem length if you can; you are going to re-cut the stem right below a node before you dip the cutting in a rooting solution. (if you use one, the environment you put the cuttings in is just as or more important than using a rooting solution) If your plant is big enough, you should leave a second set of leaves below the top leaves of the cutting. You will cut these lower leaves off later, leave them attached for now. The node where you cut the lower leaves is often where new roots will sprout from.
A proven way to improving success with cuttings is to re-cut the stem again below the node where you cut the leaves from. Do this immediately before you dip the cutting in the hormone or put it in the medium, if you are not using rooting solutions. When you make a fresh cut of the stem, the xylem (tubes that carry water, like your arteries) will still be full of water and due to the chemical properties of water (hydrogen bonds) the water in the xylem will stick to/absorb water from the medium and push water/hormones up into the plant. If you cut the stem and let it sit for awhile, there will be air in the xylem which will block the tubes and any flow of water/ hormones into the leaves above. In most cases, if air gets in the xylem the cutting will dehydrate and die.

Good Growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers

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